Funky Monks (Weyerbacher)

As many of our long-time readers know, we love any sort of Belgian-styled beer that one can put in front of us. The tripel may be tied with a Belgian strong for our favorite. Pennsylvania’s Weyerbacher has made their own riff on the Belgian style with their Funky Monks, a soured tripel. The 9.3% ABV of the brew is hidden masterfully, with the trio of phenolic bite, sour tartness, and candi sugar all fighting for dominance. What ultimately results with Funky Monks is a beer that is utterly unique when compared to the rest of effortds currently out on the market. The beer is cohesive from beginning to end, but does go through a number of delightful transformations as each twelve ounce can is able to warm to room temperature.

This means that there are times during one’s Funky Monks experience where clove and banana are dominant, while hints of hay and wheat may ultimately come to the fore shortly after that. The elements are able to stay in focus from beginning to end, rather than the brew falling into an overly-sugary mess. Weyerbacher’s newest beer marches to the beat of a different drummer, but has enough to it that fans of Belgian beers as well as sour ales will be able to find something deeply impressive with this effort.

So, make sure to pick up your own Funky Monks and let the button go on your Tally-Weijl clothing. It’s going to be a tremendous summer with Weyerbacher’s ales at the fore.

For additional information about the entire range of Weyerbacher beers, take a trip over to the brewery’s social media pages. Further depth in regards to beer-specific facts can be gleaned from the brewery’s own domain. Let us know what you think about Funky Monks.

Rating: 9.0/10

Funky Monks (Weyerbacher) / Sour Belgian Tripel / 9.3% ABV / 15 IBU / Domain / Facebook /

Uncle Billy’s Smokehouse

We were fortunate enough to take a trip down to Austin a few months back, and finally had a moment to provide NeuFutur with our impressions about this ATX institution. Uncle Billy’s has something for everyone, whether it be live music, a comfortable place to hang out, tremendous variation in their menu, or a collection of alcoholic beverages that mix up standard beer styles and do the classics well.

The Beer

During our visit to Uncle Billy’s, we had a few minute to talk to Stephen, the restaurant’s head brewer. Bringing us a pair of fully-stocked tasting paddles, Stephen broke down their main-line and seasonal offerings.

Uncle Billy’s also offers a pair of spirits – a Bourbon and a Vodka – that are utilized in the restaurant’s craft cocktails.

The Berdoll Brown (7.3%) is a wonderful take on the traditional brown ale, amping up the alcohol content to stave off some of the weakly sweet elements that often present themselves in the style. In a similar vein, Uncle Billy’s KCCO is an easy-drinking lager that is bursting with hints of malt and grain. Pegged at about 4.0%, the ABV of this brew ensures that one can have a fantastic session over the course of the night.

Crazy Day Lager (8%) is a maibock, a bold lager-type of brew that has a crispness and strength to its body that is able to match pound for pound the intense flavors present in the brewery’s cuisine. We’re moving a bit away from the winter seasonals at this point, but UB’s Shokolad was one of the best brews we’ve experienced so far in 2019. Bold and with assertive notes of chocolate and coffee, this Russian Imperial Stout went down as easily as the KCCo.

The Food

The side plates at Uncle Billy’s were a high-water mark for our experience. The macaroni and cheese married the succulent and rich cheese flavors with a bit of crunch and toasted element added considerably to the plate. The potato salad was another hit, with additional care taken to keep the potatoes from breaking down. The presence of a bit of green onion on the top of things make the dish pop. For our money, we were most impressed by the smokehouse’s cole slaw. Snap and a refreshing bite to the dish acted as a palette cleanser during both our beer and barbecue experiences.

The Smoked Brisket Hash ensured that one never had the same bite twice. Expertly-cooked potatoes are blended together with fried eggs and green onions, along with a goodly amount of cheddar and green chile-heavy salsa. Another strong selection would have to be their Redneck Road Kill, which layers the restaurant’s homemade kettle potato chips along with ample amounts of beef, avocado, sour cream. Pico de gallo and jalapenos ramp up the heat a bit.

Uncle Billy’s is top tier when it comes to their smoked meats. Brisket has supreme juiciness, while there is an intense flavor profile to the turkey breast and smoked chicken that many BBQs struggle with creating.

Verdict

Uncle Billy’s Smokehouse has a friendly staff, ample food offerings, and enough in the way of libations to ensure that one can keep having something new each time they make the trek out to Austin.

Uncle Billy’s Smokehouse / 1530 Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX 78704 / / Domain / Facebook

Five Years / Five Beers (Ecliptic / Firestone Walker)

Pouring with a hazy goldenrod coloration and a fair amount of whitish head, this Hazy Double IPA from Ecliptic and Firestone Walker is incredibly well-balanced. The beer is able to take up equal parts from traditional West Coast India Pale Ale and modern juicy IPA styles. This means there are solid notes of pine resin, tropical fruits, and wheat elements that gradually come into focus as one continues along with each 500 mL bottle.

As this iteration of the Five Years / Five Beers release continues to warm to room temperature, one will be able to pick up additional notes of stone fruits and malt. The ABV of this brew is masterfully hidden; each potential sharpness (from the hops to the aforementioned alcohol bite) is pitted against the other big flavors. Eminently drinkable, Ecliptic and Firestone Walker have created something that goes down extremely easy. Make sure to source out your own bottle of FY/FB before they disappear from store shelves.

Rating: 8.0/10

We’ve previously covered Ecliptic’s Orange Giant barleywine a few years back. Ecliptic is releasing a set of brews through the year with Breakside, Bell’s, and Russian River to celebrate their 5-year anniversary. Check out their main domain or social media profiles for further information for this promotion.

Five Years / Five Beers (Ecliptic / Firestone Walker) / Hazy Double IPA / 8.0% ABV / Facebook / Twitter

Proximity Malt and Ska Brewing Collaborate on Green Silo Saison

Last month Ska Brewing and Proximity Malt collaborated on a Dark Rye Saison, Green Silo Saison, to recognize their partnership. Named for Ska Brewing’s new green silo filled with Proximity Malt, this beer was available in limited 12-ounce canned 6-packs beginning on January 11.

Ska Brewing supports Proximity Malt’s commitment to shorten supply chains by providing local, sustainable, and consistently malted barley, so much so that they added a large green silo outside their tasting room to hold more Proximity Malt. 

The Green Silo Saison was created by a conference call between the great minds of Ska Brewing, Proximity Malt, and Steve Dresler— a retired brewmaster from Sierra Nevada. Dave Kuske, Proximity Malt’s VP of Operations, described the recipe development process: “We wanted to think outside the box and showcase the spicy notes and characteristics of our chocolate rye with a brown Saison.“ 

Green Silo Saison finishes with all of the traits you’d expect from a Saison, with the delicate notes of silky chocolate, banana, and dark cherries. The spiciness on the nose has notes of subtle black pepper, allspice, clove and nutmeg— all from the use of malt, not additional spices.

“Proximity takes great pride in working as the intermediary between the brewers and the growers. We are excited to support their commitment to the region by working together and purchasing malt grown right here in our home state,” explained Ska Brewing’s CEO Dave Thibodeau. Ska utilizes Proximity’s base and specialty malts in many of its recipes. 

ABOUT SKA BREWING

Based in Durango, Colorado, Ska Brewing was founded in 1995 and produces more than a dozen award-winning beers fueled with Ska music, and lots of it. Pioneers in the canned craft beer movement, Ska Brewing is known for an array of styles in 12 oz cans that include Mexican Logger, Modus Hoperandi, and Rue B. Soho. For information (a lot of it), more music, and a good time, visit www.skabrewing.com.

ABOUT PROXIMITY MALT

Proximity Malt selects premium grain varieties and partners with local growers to ensure the best possible local supply. Creating efficiencies in the supply chain from field to glass reduces both costs and negative environmental impacts. Their advanced malting and roasting technologies also improve the quality, performance and flavor of malt.  Proximity Malt operates malthouses in two locations–Monte Vista, CO and Laurel, DE— making them the first and largest malt company dedicated to the unique needs of craft brewing, distilling and culinary businesses. Learn more at proximitymalt.com

Citradonkulous (Wiley Roots)

Along with the brewery’s slushes, we received a can of Wiley Roots (Greeley, Colorado)’s Citradonkulous. This double IPA (8.4% ABV) is one of the best brews we’ve reviewed in 2018, due to the sheer depth of flavors that it contains. This is even more impressive when one considers that Citradonkulous does not contain any fruit material. The beer pours with a opaque tangerine to goldenrod coloration and a small amount of white head that laces its way down the glass. Continue reading “Citradonkulous (Wiley Roots)”

BHC DIPA (Ska Brewing)

BHC DIPA, a double IPA released by Ska Brewing (Durango, Colorado) is well-balanced, linking together the traditional hoppy, piney, and floral elements of an India Pale Ale with a bit of juiciness. By hitting both of these marks, Ska is able to make something that any fan of hop-forward beers can appreciate. With an 8% ABV, the specific array of flavors that have been imparted upon this brew are extraordinarily stable. For every bit of citrus that peeks through, bits of wheat and peach are present shortly after. We’re digging the bitterness of this one; Ska’s double IPA is hop-forward (75 IBU) without being a one-note brew. It’s this easy to approach and easy to drink spirit that makes it a treat during warm summer nights. Continue reading “BHC DIPA (Ska Brewing)”

Stopping by Strange Craft Beer Company (Denver, CO)

While we have had beers sent our way for NeuFutur nearly a decade now, actually visiting breweries is a fairly new frontier for us. Luckily, we were able to join up with Emily from RadCraft to see what was going on at Strange Craft Brewery. Head brewer Tyler Bies has crafted a considerably wide collection of efforts available both year-round and seasonally in the Denver area. Continue reading “Stopping by Strange Craft Beer Company (Denver, CO)”

Oskar Blues Grill & Brew – Denver

Oskar Blues has constantly helped our beer review section grow over the years, allowing us to enjoy a variety of their brews, including their IPA, Chubna, Death By Coconut, Hotbox Coffee Porter and Pinner.

We were able to stop in to their new location during our trip to the Denver area. As soon as we walked in the door, we marveled at the decorations and polish of the bar, tables, and overall ambiance of the location. Despite being downtown during the early evening, there was cheap parking literally next door to the restaurant. The Oskar Blues Grill & Brew remained busy throughout our visit, but there were ample enough staff and space to keep a light and air feeling throughout. Continue reading “Oskar Blues Grill & Brew – Denver”

Double IPA (Lone Tree Brewing Company)

Lone Tree’s Double IPA pours with a bit of haze and a goldenrod coloration. There is a tremendous amount of fluffy white head that laces its way down a glass. Hints of wheat and hops are present in the beer’s initial nose. The first sip of this double IPA yields a bit of bitterness but much less than one would imagine from such a heavily-hopped outing. Where the beer will get you is in its’ aftertaste. The sharpness sits on the palette until one is able to take another sip, refreshing things nicely. Continue reading “Double IPA (Lone Tree Brewing Company)”

Maduro Brown Ale (Cigar City)

We originally experienced Cigar City’s Maduro Brown Ale about 5 years ago as one of the first beers we received from outside of our distribution up in NE Ohio. Luckily enough, the distribution footprint for Cigar City increased in the last few months to include Texas, and we were able to check out CC’s beers once more. Continue reading “Maduro Brown Ale (Cigar City)”